October 5, 2017

Holy Martyr Charitina of Amisus

St. Charitina the Martyr (Feast Day - September 4 and October 5)


Wherefore she prayed to be freed of her flesh,
Behold through prayer Charitina received it.*
On the fifth Charitina ran to the divine city.

Saint Charitina (or Charitine) was from Amisus in Pontus and flourished during the reign of Emperor Diocletian (284-305). Orphaned at a young age, she became a servant to an eminent Christian man called Claudius, who brought her up as his own daughter. The young lady was very pretty, sensible, and kind. She imparted her love for Christ to others, and she converted many to the way of salvation. Charitina was meek, humble, obedient and silent. Although not as yet baptized, she was a Christian at heart. She studied the law of God day and night and vowed to live in perpetual virginity as a true bride of Christ.

Having brought others to the Christian faith, the Emperor Diocletian's governor, Dometius, heard of her and sent a letter to Claudius, ordering him to send Charitina to him in order to be examined. Claudius could have no doubt of the result of this questioning. Grieved at the prospect of losing her, he put on sackcloth and wept bitterly. Charitina however comforted him, saying: "Do not grieve, my Master, but rejoice, for I am to be reckoned to be close to God, as an acceptable sacrifice for my sins and for yours." Claudius replied: "Servant of God, remember me also when you are near to the heavenly King."

The Saint therefore was brought before the consular at the tribunal. He asked her: "Is it true, little girl, that you are a Christian, and that you delude others by bringing them to this dishonorable faith?" Charitina courageously replied: "It is true that I am a Christian, and a lie that I delude others. I lead those in error to the way of truth, bringing them to my Christ."

The consular then ordered that her hair be cut off, but by the power of God immediately her hair regrew. Then lit coals were put on hear head, on which they also poured vinegar. They drove flaming spits through her breasts, and burnt her sides with lamps. This was followed by them tying a stone to her neck and throwing her into the sea. To this she responded: "This is my baptism." God, however, mysteriously delivered her from the sea unharmed.

She was then bound to a wheel which began to turn over burning coals, but an Angel of God stopped the wheel and Charitina again remained unharmed. This was followed with them removing the nails from her hands and her feet. Then the wicked judge sent some dissolute youths to rape her. Fearing this dishonor, Saint Charitina prayed to God to receive her soul before these dissolute men could foul her virginal body and so, while she was kneeling in prayer, her soul went out from her body to the eternal Kingdom of Christ. Her sacred relic was then taken and cast into the sea, but by divine Providence it was brought to shore. Her master Claudius found her body and took it, and buried her honorably and reverently.


* The same verses are to be found for the Holy Martyr Charitina commemorated on September 4, probably indicating they are the same person.

Apolytikion in the Third Tone
Strengthened by grace thou didst shame the force of ungodliness, and contend beyond the powers of nature. Thou didst pour an unfailing stream of grace on those who cry to thee: O glorious Charitina, pray to Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thou didst arm thy soul with faith and knowledge, and put the enemy to open shame. Thou didst stand before Christ in a robe dyed with thy blood, and art now rejoicing with the Angels. Pray for us, Martyr Charitina.